IN the literary context, hope is defined as “being able to see that there is light despite all the darkness.” Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” In ages past, notable men in history such as Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Abraham Lincoln, and Obafemi Awolowo have been known to give men hope in the face of staggering despair. They did this through many of their platforms: activism, free education programs, pulpit, writing, and speaking out against the oppression of the voiceless and powerless who achieved meaningful repeal of racial and color discrimination in our society. Today, all men are equal and have become citizens of the world thanks to the efforts of those who sacrificed everything to give men hope.

Back home in Kwara State, the crying Turaki, Saliu Mustapha, embodies hope in everything he does. Judging by his immaculate background and records, this eminent man of character and integrity demonstrates hope. He Saliu Mustapha Foundation is a true platform symbolizing hope and relief as thousands have been brought out of the dungeon of despair. Through his Saliu Mustapha Foundation, countless young people have been rehabilitated and empowered; oriented and discouraged from social vices, sent to school, scholarship holders and scholarship recipients; supported widows, provided relief materials and many more.

In Kwara State, Mustapha is a household name as a result of his rare and unusual philanthropic gestures aimed at freeing the masses from the clutches of poverty and endemic hopelessness. Moved by his unusual magnanimity towards the emancipation of the dispossessed, the Emir of Llorin, Alhaji Sulu Gambari, in May of this year, granted him the title of Turaki de Llorin, a recognition that goes beyond sentimentality and politics. As part of its own way of giving back to society, the Saliu Mustapha Foundation in May this year donated 17 state-of-the-art wells to be located in each of the 17 political districts in the Asa local government area of ​​the state under the holistic supervision of the Under the Niger River Basin Development Authority. As a student activist, he took more than a passing interest in politics, and this culminated in his political tutelage under Chief Alex Aniello, Olu Falae, Alhaji Balarabe Musa and President Muhammadu Buhari. Saliu Mustapha got active in politics in the early 2000s.

Between 2001 and 2002 he was the National Secretary of Publicity of the Progressive Liberation Party (PLP). In 2003, he joined like-minded men to register the Progressive Action Congress (PAC), where he again served as Secretary of National Publicity; and then joined the All Peoples Party (APP), which later morphed into the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and later merged into the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC). At the defunct CPC, Mustapha served as National Vice President. In 2013, he was part of progressive-minded people who joined forces to change Nigeria’s ugly political narratives by creating the All Progressives Congress (APC).

In 2018, Mustapha showed interest in rewriting Kwara State’s not-too-sexy administrative fiasco, but a cabal took to federal radio to announce his withdrawal from the gubernatorial race, a withdrawal that never originated with him or his field. . Faced with this act of political mischief, his supporters were dejected to think that he was going to capsize the APC boat, but as a man loyal to the party, he stayed where he was. Fast-forward to 2022, he again showed interest in running the APC gatehouse as National Party chairman, a position for which he is eminently qualified, but was convinced by some power blocs to cave to the president’s interest, to which he agreed without being dissident.

As a way of rewarding him for his loyalty, he ran to represent Kwara Central in the Red Chamber and won the primary defeating an incumbent senator. Today, in Kwara, Mustapha through his many philanthropic platforms has demonstrated ability, competence and reliability. As he hopes to represent the good people of Kwara Central in the Senate, if he wins, many more people will continue to shine with renewed hope.

  • Giwa, legal and media consultant, writes from the UK